Top 5 Reasons to Teach
1. The Opportunity and Your Impact: Now and in the Future
Corps members typically fill hard-to-staff positions in South Carolina, which means you are needed to provide students with a full-time teacher and a class size that encourages growth and learning. Our community members, principals, and veteran teachers are very welcoming and are excited to have you join the community. Additionally, we seek to provide you with leadership pathways inside and outside of education beyond your initial two-year commitment. We believe that long-term leadership, across a variety of sectors, is crucial to ending systemic educational inequity for South Carolina students.
2. Low Cost of Living
The cost of living in South Carolina is low, and lower still in our rural placement areas. You have the option to pursue a professional teaching certificate, but ongoing certification courses are not required. The cost of certification in South Carolina is ~$1500 compared to the national average of $7,270. You can also earn a master’s degree from our university partner in two to three years at a significantly discounted rate. Most corps members are able to cover the full cost of certification and a master’s degree through AmeriCorps funding.
3. Statewide Leadership Network
There are over 250 Teach For America alumni living and working in South Carolina—it’s an incredible leadership network that you’ll have access to during and after your two-year teaching commitment. Our alumni are teachers, school administrators, lawyers, doctors, business professionals, bankers, consultants, and leaders of non-profit organizations. Over 60 percent of our alumni work in education.
4. STEM and Computer Science Initiative
South Carolina has launched InnovateSC that focuses on preparing students for rapidly growing careers in STEM fields by building relationships with key STEM education stakeholders throughout the state. This program seeks to recruit, develop, and mobilize educators, and includes partnerships with Google, Duke Energy, and IT – oLogy. Additionally, if you teach at the high school level and choose to remain at your placement school beyond your two-year commitment, you are eligible to participate in our Computer Science in SC initiative. This program helps mobilize you school community and provides computer science courses to students.
5. School Leadership Opportunities
For the first time this year, Teach For America – South Carolina is thrilled to announce a $30,000 grant from the Kern Family Foundation to support professional development for alumni who want to become school leaders. We will invest all of these dollars directly into the leadership development of Teach For America alumni aspiring to become school leaders in South Carolina. We know there is a growing need for diverse, talented leaders to guide students toward academic opportunity, and this program will allow us to invest a minimum of $5,000 per fellow. Funds can go toward a certification or master’s program focused on developing high-quality school principals or leaders. Read more about last year's recipients.
Are You From South Carolina?
If you have ties to South Carolina through your hometown or alma mater, or you’re living and working in the state as a professional, we’d love you to consider teaching here.
In 2015, the South Carolina region started an initiative called RiseSC to build partnerships throughout the state to increase the number of diverse, homegrown leaders who are teaching and leading high-needs local classrooms, and fuel a long-term alumni movement. While our corps members from across the country make a meaningful difference in the classroom, our corps members with local South Carolina ties have an opportunity to have a profound, additional impact on their students based on a shared background.
As a local corps member, you can additionally invest your local networks in the broader movement for educational equity, and shape the mindsets and growth of our region. Join us!
What You Need to Know
Becoming Certified to Teach
- Is it possible to complete a master's degree at the end of the two years?
- Is a master's degree required?
- Which universities do you partner with?
In order to begin teaching in South Carolina, corps members must pass a subject specific PRAXIS II exam, successfully complete all Teach For America training requirements, and submit copies of all college transcripts along with a background check.
Corps members have the option to pursue a professional teaching certificate, but taking ongoing certification courses is not required. Corps members who teach in a Teach For America – South Carolina partner school for a third year after their two year commitment, complete nine hours of graduate coursework, and complete other standard certification requirements (such as an application fee) are eligible for a professional teaching certificate. The graduate credits required for certification are offered through our university partner, Francis Marion University, at a very discounted rate.
The cost of certification for South Carolina corps members who choose to pursue a professional teaching certificate is much lower compared to other regions (~$1,500 compared to a national average of $7,270). Eligible corps members who enroll in AmeriCorps and receive an award may be able to cover the full cost of professional certification through the grant.
Master's Degree Option
Corps members can also earn a master’s degree from our university partner in two years. The cost of this master’s degree is significantly discounted, with a total cost of approximately $6,400. Eligible corps members who enroll in AmeriCorps and receive an award may be able to cover the full cost of a Master’s degree through the grant.
Earning a master's is possible in two years.
Francis Marion University
Get to Know the Communities Where You'll Teach
- Pee Dee
- Low Country
The Pee Dee region of South Carolina is located in the northeastern part of the state and is named after the Pee Dee Native American tribe that inhabited the area. Situated near the Pee Dee River, this region is home to the city of Florence and the beginnings of Teach For America-South Carolina.
Photo credit: JayeeDior12
Teach For America South Carolina’s Midlands region encompasses a large footprint in and around the city of Orangeburg. Orangeburg, also known as “The Garden City,” is home to two historically black universities – Claflin University and South Carolina State University.
Photo credit: walterborosc.org
The Low Country is South Carolina’s coastal region which includes the city of Charleston. Teach For America South Carolina opportunities here include both rural and urban placements.
Subjects And Grade Levels
- Early Childhood
- Social Studies
- Special Education